Plymouth’s Cafe Curva in Drake Circus has closed after 15 years

The large restaurant on the top floor of Plymouth’s Drake Circus Shopping Centre has closed after the operator decided not to renew the lease.

The restaurant, which also had an outside terrace, has been run by the well-known Hajiyianni family, which also owns the city’s New Continental Hotel and other restaurants, since the mall opened in late 2016.

But directors of Cafe Curva decided not to continue with the lease when it expired so they could concentrate on other business ventures.

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In addition to the large New Continental Hotel, Hajiyianni family members are associated with The Dock, Kuku and other hospitality establishments including nightclubs.

A spokesperson for the family and directors said: “The lease was for 15 years from 2006 and we didn’t wish to extend it. The directors decided not to renew so that they could focus on their other ventures.

“The lease was up, and it felt like the right time to end that chapter after a great 15 years at Drake Circus. Where it’s been possible, employees have been redeployed in the other businesses.”

Shortly before Christmas 2021, staff and management at Cafe Curva posted a hand-written notice telling customers of the imminent closure.

Generic file picture of Drake Circus
Generic file picture of Drake Circus
(Image: Matt Gilley/Plymouth Live)

The notice read: “Due to a difficult couple of years it is with a heavy heart that we would like to inform all of our customers that as of January 9, 2022, we will no longer be trading.

“We would like to thank you all for your custom after the past 15 years. From all the management and staff at Cafe Curva.”

The restaurant was a popular eatery and had a food hygiene rating of four, meaning “good”. Its menu contained a huge selection of dishes from full English breakfast to homemade soups, paninis, sandwiches and baguettes to crunchy salads, jacket potatoes, vegetarian options, freshly made pasta or seafood dishes and a carvery daily alongside coffees, teas, cakes and treats.

Cafe Curva has now been removed from the Drake Circus Shopping Centre website. British Land Company Ltd, the property giant that owns the mall, confirmed the restaurant had closed but said it was unable to reveal any plans for the unit.

The closure of Cafe Curva adds to several empty units in the mall, including the temporary closures of Bill’s Restaurant and the American Fruity juice bar, which is also on the top floor and close to Cafe Curva.

The mall lost chains such as Mothercare, Carphone Warehouse and Cath Kidston in recent years, but has recently gained three high-end Watches of Switzerland outlets for Omega, Breitling and Tag Heuer brands, and stores for Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Shoeaholics, iSmart and Barrhead Travel

The mall has 66 store units, eight anchor tenants and 1,270 car park spaces. The complex celebrated its 15th anniversary in October 2021.

The Hajiyianni dynasty has been among Plymouth’s leading business families since Persefoni and Steve Hajiyianni came to Plymouth from Cyprus in 1953. Steve died in 1996 and Persefoni in 2020 at the age of 91.

Their children Mario, Bobbie, Chris, Tina and Alexandra are all well known in the Plymouth business community, as was another son, Costas, who was general manager at the New Continental Hotel, but died in 2006. Persefoni was survived by 14 grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

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Plymouth Live